7 prompts to creating authentic emotions

Have you ever been scrolling through a photographer’s profile and thought HOW?! How do they convey the emotion so perfectly? I believe in creating authentic images. I truly love sweetheart sessions because: it challenges me to find ways to get my couple to open up organically, they become comfortable in front of the camera, & they help them capture their story

Now, I can only do this if I know my couples and understand how to help them. One way I help is by using different prompts instead of poses. Here’s 7 prompts to creating authentic emotions

there is a key difference between a prompt and a pose. a prompt gives direction but ultimately lets the couple follow through with how they’re more comfortable.

I’ve always been a visual learner so I’m going to show you images with the prompts I gave and you can decide for yourself what you think. Tell me which prompt you like more or which you’ve never tried!

prompt #7: bump into each other

this one is a great one to start a session out with because it helps my couples get comfortable in front of me. this gets the couple moving and focusing on each other and not my camera in their face.

I told Alex here to hold Kendra’s hand and while they walked side by side, to bump their hips into each other’s side.

couple walking together
bumping into each other

prompt #6: the potato sack / aka throw her over your shoulder

so this one is always fun but kinda risky and very self-explanatory.
I told Ryan to throw Breana over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. this prompt typically gets some laughter before, during, AND after.

couple laughing together
the sack of potatoes

prompt #5: dance like it’s your first dance

dancing may or may not be something your couple likes. If my couples has a song that is super special to them, I make sure it’s on my playlist. I love playing “their song” and letting them have a sweet moment together.
if they tend to just hold each other and sway, I always tell him “while you’re listening to this song, tell her one thing you love/admire about her.”

adventurous couple dancing
dancing the first dance

prompt #4: surprise!

I love this one because I always get some of the most genuine smiles. I had the bride stand facing me and the groom came tiptoeing up from behind. when he got close enough, he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her all over.

elopement couple in an embrace
the surprise prompt

prompt #3: piggy back

self explanatory, right? But it’s not just any piggy back. I told Ryan that he had to bounce around to try to get her off his back. this guarantees laughing by at least one person!

couple laughing, piggy back ride
the piggy back prompt

prompt #2: tell him/her what you love most about him/her

Okay, so this one is possibly the most “open-ended” type of prompt. I’ve had people tell each other their favorite characteristics of each other. I’ve had a groom tell his wife why he loves her booty. What their first impressions were. Their favorite memories. So many possibilities here. I’ll give them an idea on what the topics can be and then I just step back and let them be.

wedding couple in love
tell her/him . . .

prompt #1: sandwich ingredients (my favorite!)

this one is by far my most favorite and tends to work well for everyone. I know men love their sandwiches (dont @ me for stereotyping) and I want to make sure guys feel involved in the session and not miserable. SO. I always tell the guy to get nice and close and whisper into her ear. Whisper something specific–his favorite sandwich ingredients. The catch? He has to say it in his most sexy voice. that’s the key. and that’s really what makes her laugh and eventually him.

couple laughing, black and white image
sexy sandwich ingredients

Are any of these new to you? I’d love to hear the results when you use any of these prompts. I hope these help you out at your next sweetheart session!


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